By Larry Schlesinger
First-time property investors should look at the outlying areas of Sydney rather than focus on the pricier inner-city suburbs, according to SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher.
Christopher says the best opportunities for Sydney investors lie in the outer suburbs, more than 25 kilometres from the city centre.
He picks the western Sydney suburbs of Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith as good places to invest in residential property at a time western Sydney's reputation as investment hotspot is on the rise.
Smart Property Investment magazine's most recent list of the 50 suburbs with the greatest capital growth potential included four western Sydney suburbs: Blacktown, Liverpool, Penrith and Rosemeadow.
Christopher says rents in Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith have been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7% since 2009 due to an influx of families looking for more affordable housing options.
He does not have a preference for either houses or units and says total returns from both types of properties tend to perform similarly in the long term.
Douglas Driscoll, chief executive of Starr Partners, also says western Sydney suburbs will perform strongly in 2012.
He expects this market to get stronger, with new suburbs and shopping districts appearing, businesses establishing and settling in the area, transport connections improving and large master-planned residential developments appearing.
"No other area in Sydney is seeing that amount of change so quickly," he says.
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